I am selected as an artist in residence at Seoul Art Space Geumcheon (SASG) with Evelyne Drouin for three months. This is my first time in South Korea and also the first time participating in an artist-in-residence program that provides me with studios both for lodging and for creation. Our proposal is an integration of brain computer interface, spatialized sound and haptics to create an immersive and intimate experience through new media and body movements. We are planning to do research creation through public workshops focusing on each topic through the residency.
I arrived in Seoul on July 3rd after finishing a commercial media installation in Tokyo. After 2 hours of flight from Narita, I arrived at Incheon Airport and took a limousine bus to Geumcheon. From the bus stop to SASG was about 10 minutes, and I was surprised by the number of butchers; later I heard that this area is known for butchers and therefore, there are restaurants that serves fresh meat (they are local and you need to speak Korean to order, of course). This may sound that this area is not international artists friendly, but there are a few supermarkets and shopping malls so they can find more or less what they need.
After arriving at SASG, HaKyung, who is in charge of international residency programs, gave me a tour of the building. On the first and second floor, there are around 20 studios in total for both Korean and international artists, and only the international artists have bedrooms. The third floor is an exhibition space, which currently hosts an exhibition by Cho Hyunik.
There are also a lecture room, a media room with a few iMacs, and a small library in the building. The garage next to the building has a wood shop. The building used to be a printing factory and that explains why there is a huge garage.
On the second day I went to buy some 2x4 so that I can try the equipment in the wood shop. The staff at SASG told me where to buy material nearby so I followed the route and I ended up in a place where there is no one at a glance and it is unclear if it is a shop or a storage.
Soon an old man came to me and asked something in Korean, but I did not understand so I just said two by four. He understood but he needed to know how long and how many pieces I want, so I tried to tell him by gestures (and some simple Korean; I did study how to count numbers, which helped a lot). At the end, I showed him some bills that I can afford and he gave me the pieces equivalent to that amount. I walked back to the studio with the material and the following day I made something that can be used for stacking baskets or mounting a projector.
On the fourth day, since I could rent a projector, I did some simple tests with alc_freeliner, an open-source projection mapping toolkit developed by MaxD. Since the SASG building is full of vinyl wall arts and there are a few more projectors available, it can be an interesting idea to host a projection mapping workshop/party sometime, especially focused on open-source tools like freeliner.
As for the other artists in residence, so far two other groups have arrived: Roland from Hungary and Liza and Julia from Germany. We already introduced ourselves but we have not talked about the projects in detail so I am curious to have exchanges with them. Also there are a few Korean artists using the studios, who I have not talked yet. Since SASG is focused on visual art and media art, the atmosphere feels quite different from my past experiences (such as danceWEB two years ago when I stayed with more than 60 dancers in a dormitory), and I am excited about what will be developed during the three month.